What Is Exceptional Development

When it comes to giving your children the right education, it is important to recognize different development needs. The term 'exceptional children' is used to describe a group of children that has very specific developmental needs. Exceptional development is the name given to the range of activities and therapies that helps these children unleash their potential. Exceptional development comprises a number of different activities.

Speech and language therapy

Some exceptional children have developmental needs related to their ability to communicate verbally. Some children experience developmental delays with speech or language, whereas others have cognitive or motor speech disorders that prevent them from developing speech in the right way without intervention. Speech and language therapy specifically helps children develop intelligible, fluent speech and can also help children that struggle to understand and or express feelings and thoughts.

Physical and occupational therapy

In some cases, exceptional children struggle to function within the home or school environment. Exceptional development can better equip them to do this through different forms of physical and occupational therapy. Exceptional children may have suffered through trauma, disease or a congenital condition. Physical therapy commonly helps these children manage physical problems through play or through different forms of intervention, targeted at specific joints or muscles. Occupational therapy helps children become self-sufficient through new or restored skills.


Psychological and behavioral assessments are a key element within exceptional development, both in establishing and diagnosing a problem in the first place and in assessing and measuring progress on an ongoing basis. Psychological assessments include tests, interviews and ongoing recommendations for treatment. Assessments will always be tailored to individual children and will therefore vary considerably in length and complexity.

Tailoring activity

Exceptional development can comprise a wide range of different activities, the specifics of which will be tailored to the child concerned. What works well for one child's needs may be completely inappropriate for another. One child may have a strong need for counseling and psychological intervention, whereas another might need much more support with physical therapy. This can make it very difficult for parents to know what 'good' looks like, and the process can sometimes be a little experimental. There may not be a single right answer, and it can take some time to achieve results.

Support and skills for parents

Enabling exceptional development in your children is unlikely to be easy without further support and assistance. Organizations such as the Exceptional Development Family Treatment Center run a host of different programs and initiatives to equip parents and professionals to become proficient in exceptional development. While certain aspects, like assessments, must be carried out by a trained professional, the capability of parents to support exceptional development can have a significant bearing on the success of this type of education.

© 2015 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company